Pepsi’s Music Lab is a “new annual program designed to remove music industry barriers, create new opportunities for artists, and shine a spotlight on the next generation of hip-hop superstars.” Pepsi is launching both The Pepsi Music Lab Academy and Pepsi Music Lab Virtual Summit as part of this new platform. Pi’erre has teamed up with Pepsi for this three-day intensive for three rising stars to win a chance to attend intimate studio sessions led by Pi’erre, not only that these 3 artists will also leave with an original track each produced and released by Pi’erre and Pepsi. “I’m proud to have the chance to work with a brand like Pepsi that sees the value of giving the future generation a shot at growing and learning…I can’t wait to see all the amazing music submitted on PepsiMusicLab.com and I’m even more excited to see what tracks we can create together over the course of this program,” notes Pi’erre. Artists looking to apply to Pepsi Music Lab can apply by submitting an original track and video testimonial to PepsiMusicLab.com before January 16, 2022.
Pi’erre Bourne has had an insanely successful year to say the least. In addition to partnering with the Pepsi Music Lab, earlier this year Pierre released his highly anticipated sophomore album The Life Of Pi’erre 5, which received critical acclaim from The Fader, Billboard, Pitchfork, Complex, Rolling Stone, and landed on the Billboard 200 charts. Earlier this week Pi’erre released YO!88, a collaborative project, produced entirely by TM88. Pi’erre also went on tour earlier this year with his artist Sharc, who was featured on the wildly popular “Drunk and Nasty,” off of The Life of Pi’erre 5 and who is also currently signed to his SossHouse label. In our exclusive interview with Pi’erre he shares what he’s looking forward to most while working with Pepsi’s Music Lab, How YO!88 came about, his label SossHouse and much more! Find out what else Pi’erre had to say in our interview below!
The Knockturnal: How did you get involved in the Pepsi Music Lab?
Pi’erre Bourne: Someone form my team and someone from Pepsi’s team got to talking, the opportunity presented itself to me and I would never turn that down.
The Knockturnal: What aspect about the Pepsi Music Lab program excites you the most?
Pi’erre Bourne: They’re creating a platform for up-and-coming artists and giving them a chance for real, that’s rare. Nowadays you don’t really see situations like that so it’s really dope for them to shine more light on hip hop.
The Knockturnal: Are you excited to collaborate with these 3 upcoming artists from the Pepsi program?
Pi’erre Bourne: yeah definitely, I know with the selection process there’s gonna be so many people submitting their music and they’re gonna have to go through so much so that’s probably gonna be overwhelming for Pepsi, but I’m excited.
The Knockturnal: Have you always been interested in artist development/discovery?
Pi’erre Bourne: Honestly I’ve always been interested in artist discovery and development, I have my own label SossHouse and I have several artists that I am developing right now, so this situation isn’t gonna be too difficult to me because I’m so hands-on when I work with artists, so I enjoy building them and seeing them flourish without me even being around later on in the future.
The Knockturnal: Can you tell us about SossHouse and the creative/business roles you play outside of being an artist/producer?
Pi’erre Bourne: Running a label and working with artists can be a lot for others but it’s not overwhelming for me, I just have to wear several hats. Yesterday we had Rolling Loud and then my artist he needed studio time and I needed to make sure he had beats for the studio, so it’s a lot that most people would be overwhelmed with, but as long as I prepare beforehand I’ll always be prepared to deliver on whatever end they need me on, engineering wise or producing wise or coming up with strategies for their merch or how we’re gonna push the songs. I’m really hands on with everything, but I love hearing their input. I’ve never tried to tell them what to do. I sit back, see where their head is, I try to throw the ma couple pointers, and then we meet in the middle. One of my artists, Sharc, is on my album actually, on The Life of Pi’erre 5, on “Drunk and Nasty,” and that song did really really well. He was surprised because of all the features on the album, he wasn’t expecting his feature to pop off like that so that was cool for him to see then we went on tour to Europe, and then we did the U.S. tour so we been moving pretty much since the project has come out and then I have a few other artists like Chavo and a few more artists I’ve been working on, but we haven’t put out their music yet.
The Knockturnal: Can you tell us about your new collaborative project with TM88, YO!88? What’s your favorite track off the project and why?
Pi’erre Bourne: I just dropped a project with TM88 called YO!88, he produced all of the beats on the album with his production team Crash Dummy and I’ve been a fan of TM for years so to be able to work with him is an honor. My favorite song on the album, I would say probably “HomeComing” or “Richer Dreams” because I finally got to do a song with Young Nudy, and out of most relationships in the industry that’s like really family to me so for us to do a song – we never really cared about doing songs together we respected what we do and that was it, so for us to come together it was like two different worlds coming together on one song, I hope we can make more music in the future as far as us rapping together, but I’m cool with how everything has been with producing, I really enjoy working with Young Nudy.
The Knockturnal: Over the years you’ve released 8 collaborative projects, your latest being YO!88, what have been some of your favorite joint/collaborative projects throughout hip hop history?
Pi’erre Bourne: Probably one of the early Future tapes like 56 Nights where he was locked in with 808Mafia and then I would also say Curren$y’s Pilot Talk, he worked with Ski Beatz for a majority of the project and Ski Beatz made the “Dead Presidents” beat for Jay-Z. That’s kinda where I got the concept from, Curren$y used to lock in with one producer and do a whole tape. He did a lot with The Alchemist and Harry Fraud, that’s one of artists I would say I kinda got that from.
The Knockturnal: What are your plans for 2022?
Pi’erre Bourne: Hopefully a lot more good music releasing, some cool videos. I really just want to get into more creative projects in general, hopefully, just me spreading my wings more.
The Knockturnal: Any more collaborations on the way with you and your artists?
Pi’erre Bourne: We got a lot of music coming out with SossHouse, that’s something that I’m always gonna continue to do and just keep building. I want to work with more artists and get into film.
The Knockturnal: Have you always been interested in acting or is this a new passion of yours?
Pi’erre Bourne: I’ve always wanted to be on T.V. since I was a child. I didn’t know what it would be, but I just wanted to see myself on T.V. I’ve always considered acting, but I never really knew anyone I could talk to about it because of my music background, that’s kind of the conversation that starts with everyone and it’s kinda hard to get out of that conversation, but living in Los Angeles and Hollywood I’m just crossing my fingers every day that maybe I’m gonna run into a director.
The Knockturnal: Were you close at all to Virgil Abloh? And if so what’s the most important thing you learned from him?
Pi’erre Bourne: Me & Virgil were cool, I wasn’t the closest how everyone else was with him on a personal relationship, this year we kinda got cool and talked about a couple things. He sent me some Off-White stuff, and I was sharing my ideas with him and telling him my favorite color is purple and the Louis Vuitton store in New York, they had made it purple like later on in the year and we shot a scene of the “Hulu” video in front of the LV store when it was purple because the purple is close to another album cover I had that’s just a purple background – I’m not sure if our conversation sparked that, but it was cool to see. It is unfortunate losing a legend, he was a great tastemaker for our culture. Like I said when I first started this answer, I wasn’t really close to him yet. I worked with a lot of people that was close with him and they would always tell me “Virgil loves you.” I would always try to hit him up, but you know he was a busy guy. We finally got each others phone numbers earlier this year and we were talking and I told him about me tryna make my clothing line and I sent him a preview of it, for him to see it. It’s an unfortunate time and my condolences go out to his family, wife, and kids.